AML/Sanctions and Crypto Assets

Venue :Online Seminars
Host Name :The SEACEN Centre
Date From :25 Mar 2022
Date To :25 Mar 2022


On Monday, March 7, 2022, the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an alert “Advises Increased Vigilance for Potential Russian Sanctions Evasion Attempts”. On Wednesday, March 9 U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order for the government to examine the risks and benefits of cryptocurrencies. These actions come on the heels of concerns raised in recent weeks about Russia’s use of cryptocurrency to evade the impact of sanctions in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

To apply sanctions, a government makes a list of people and businesses its citizens must avoid. Anyone caught engaging with a member of the list faces heavy fines. But the real key to any effective sanctions program is the global financial system. Banks around the world play a major role in enforcement: They see where money comes from and where it’s bound, and anti-money-laundering laws require them to block transactions with entities that are under sanctions and report what they see to authorities. But if banks are the eyes and ears of governments in this space, the explosion of digital currencies is blinding them.

This session of SEACEN’s Friday Morning Coffee is designed to explore the potential for digital assets and cryptocurrencies to lessen the impact of sanctions and provide food for thought on steps that SEACEN members and stakeholders can take to scrutinize the use of digital assets.

Some key questions:

  • What are sanctions?
  • Can digital assets and cryptocurrencies be used to evade sanctions?
  • What should businesses, including banks, in the SEACEN stakeholder space do to mitigate the risk?